Wisdom From the Woods: Life Lessons Learned From Being Around Visionaries by Jim Shock

Summer has passed. With so much to look forward to in the months ahead, you won’t want to look back. There are big changes afoot for fall. For example, the historic Fort Savannah Inn log cabin in Lewisburg is undergoing an extreme makeover to transform the lackluster landmark, and adjoining property, into a vibrant city center showcasing our best local food, culture and art. The new public space will include a restaurant, surrounding park with pond, and farmers markets.

I often say, for small-towns to have big-time appeal, businesses and civic groups must connect to create a community of partners, not competitors. According to plans, The Lewisburg Rotary Club has pledged to build an outdoor amphitheater too where world-class artists from around the corner or around the country can perform.

Lewisburg wasn’t necessarily in need of resuscitation, but this new public space will certainly invigorate the heartbeat of downtown. It will be a place where everyone of every age and class feels welcome to dine, unwind and have fun! Let me start the ovation for the developers and donors undertaking this enormous effort. They exemplify community spirit and deserve our support.

I’m sure envious naysayers and compulsive complainers have already begun their childish chatter about why this project is evil. That’s the unfortunate and less charming aspect of small-town life. Even so, buzz is building. You can almost feel the city “bow up” with pride as this Phoenix emerges.

Despite its history, the site of Fort Savannah had deteriorated into an iconic eyesore. The lifeless lot wasn’t a fitting welcome mat for the doorway to Lewisburg. What’s proposed to replace it will be. With inviting outdoor spaces, local flavors and talents displayed, stages presenting bands and films, classroom and workshops for children and adults; the new community center will be a gorgeous gateway to everything cool about Lewisburg. Someone PLEASE explain how that’s a bad thing?

So give a big round of applause to the developers and donors breaking ground downtown to create a common area where citizens and visitors can gather together to celebrate everything wild and wondrous about West Virginia.


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